I've cuddled my baby girl today...as much as she would allow. The time between cuddles is getting few and far between. Eleven year-olds don't take too kindly to cuddle requests. I did manage to cuddle with her while I was sitting on our bed this afternoon, but I knew it wouldn't last long. She doesn't fit in my arms as she once did. It makes me sad. It's the same pattern I've followed with my three older children. Fewer and fewer hugs and cuddles until finally I realize....they've stopped altogether.
Sometimes my mommy's heart aches to hold my babies. It's very nearly a physical need. I think back to the newborn and toddler days. There were the constant holdings, changings, wipings, cleanings, feedings, burpings and the sheer joy of being in such close physical contact with sweet angels from heaven. Late night feedings and early morning rockings.
I miss that time of life.
Today as I held my youngest angel, I found myself gently swaying, rocking back and forth as I did for so many years. Smiling, I recalled times when I was out shopping and would suddenly realize I'd been standing looking at some produce, rocking back and forth without a baby in sight. It became such a habit.
The loving ties that are built by such close proximity, the caring and the giving and joy of tiny smiles and baby giggles isn't something to be taken lightly. It's a gift. I was the grateful recipient of such gifts four times over.
Perhaps it's the sad news this week of a dear friend with stage four breast cancer and another recurrence of bone cancer for another sweet friend that has caused me to wax a bit melancholy.
Life is a gift to be treasured and we never know when that gift will be taken back. I'm so thankful for the love---the abundant love that I have experienced with my husband and my children.
But I still miss the cuddles.